Hakkinen urges Alonso to remain patient at McLaren
Fernando Alonso must remain patient and reign in his complaints as he knew McLaren-Honda's first year together would be tough, according to two-time champion Mika Hakkinen.
The Spaniard's complaints have grown stronger race-by-race and came to a head at the Japanese Grand Prix when he compared Honda's power unit to that of a GP2 engine.
Alonso's attitude has drawn criticism from Hakkinen who insists a driver must fully support his team through thick and thin, especially when they knew in advance that it would be a difficult year.
"I waited seven years for my first Formula 1 win," the Finn told Ilta Sanomat. "He has driven the McLaren-Honda for only about half a year.
"Engine development is very slow, it is a stressful time for the driver. In my own career, when Mercedes came in to partner McLaren, the engine speed improved significantly over the development time.
"Alonso and many other drivers are very well compensated for their work. They agree to support the team through both good and bad days.
"Instead, he has already begun to rail against the engine manufacturer," he said. "But Fernando should keep in mind that he himself decided to take up this challenge."
McLaren went through similar pain - albeit reliability rather than performance - when they first partnered with Mercedes in 1995. Nigel Mansell quit the team after just two races, frustrated with the car and engine.
It took four years until they won a championship with Mercedes power.
Speaking to the BBC Mansell admits walking away was a decision he regrets.
"I have to say, unequivocally, that given the same set of circumstances what I should have done, and didn't do, is sit in the office for a day or so to have a good chat with [McLaren chairman] Ron Dennis.
"He would have helped me enormously and the chances are I wouldn't have stood down at that time. That's why I give this advice to everybody now to think very carefully."